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Dear Readers: I am thrilled to be able to be a guest on Canto Talk this Thursday, April 21 at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST; click here for live show or archived podcast).

My guest that night will be independent conservative activist Dawn Wildman, coordinator for California Tea Party Groups and co-founder of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition.  She and I have been friends since the first Tea Party over 7 years ago!

Dawn and Leslie

California has been crazy indeed:

Our former “conservative” Governor shortened the sentence of the son of a political ally who murdered another young man.

We are poised to let lose a Manson Family cult killer.

California Republicans are crazy about Ted Cruz.

California Democrats are just plain crazy and are beginning to #FeelTheBern.

There is a new California Gold Rush…involving Texas and Tennessee

We are looking forward to sharing the craziness with Canto Talk listeners!

 

 

 

 

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Dear Readers: I am thrilled to announce that fellow Legal Insurrection author and friend Kemberlee Kaye will be our guest on Tuesday, March 8th at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST on Canto Talk. (Click HERE during showtimes, or after for the podcast).

Kemberlee

The topic will be Election 2016.  To say that it has been a thrilling ride would be an understatement.  The Cruz/Trump split decision on “Super Saturday” certainly has made the race for the nomination competitive.

However, the Democratic Party’s race has been no less interesting.

The use of coin-flips and Super-Delegates may have helped propel Clinton to the “inevitable” spot. Threats and warnings by party insiders have been used against Sanders’ supporters to keep the troops in-line.

However, the trickery and bullying come with a steep price. A progressive site, Left Wing Nation, is already deriding #NeverHillary liberals who vow they will stay home or vote Republican.

 

We will also get an inside look at what happened at the recent CPAC:

Kemberlee #02

We will get an up-close look at some of the speeches and reactions to them, including:

Ted Cruz’s CPAC Speech

Rubio at CPAC: “Ronald Reagan looked and acted nothing like Donald Trump”

 

And, of course, the reaction to the no-show by Donald Trump.

It should be Yuuuuge! Please tune in or download the podcast for later listening pleasure.

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Dear Friends: For those of you who like my crackling political commentary, I decided to go back to my original blogging roots and cover hot topics in Egyptology for the next Canto Talk show.  So, I hope that you will join Silvio Canto Jr. and myself this Wednesday, Feb. 17th to discuss the a wonderful new podcast program on the subject (click here at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST or after for the archived show.)

I will be introducing the Canto Talk audience to Dr. Eric Wells, host of Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt.

Eric Guide 1

As Valentine’s Day was just a couple of days ago, we will be reviewing love and romance in ancient Egypt.  I suspect many of you will be surprised by how seriously the Egyptian’s took their passion.

Eric has a real gift of making ancient history appealing for everyone — from humble amateurs such as myself to those who have an in-depth knowledge of Egyptology.  He has an incredible voice for radio, and his podcasts are simply among the best history programming available in new media today.  I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share is excellent work with a larger audience.

I am hoping we might be able to cover a few other topics, too. During the first show I listened to, Eric’s guest Kara Cooney covered the relationship between the iconic beauty Nefertiti and her husband, religious heretic and pharaoh, Akhenaten.

Eric Guide 2

And while I agree with most of their assessments about Akhenaten, I would disagree as to their choice about his modern counterpart — which Cooney said was Donald Trump.  I would assert that between the monumental building, big ego, and the numerous wives and kids, Ramses the Great would be a better match.

 

Eric Guide 3

 

No matter your  political inclination, Egypt is a fascinating land with intriguing discoveries still to be made.  I hope to chat with Eric about the status of the work related to potential chambers in King Tutankhamen’s tomb and the Great Pyramid.  I also plan to review his own interesting work in the field.

It should be a great show!

 

 

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Antonio F BrancoDear Readers:  UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this show is rescheduled for DEC. 17th!

It will be my enormous pleasure to chat with Legal Insurrection’s Antonio F. Branco, America’s best political cartoonist!  Tune into Canto Talk this Thursday, Dec. 10th Dec. 17th at 7 pm Pacific/9 pm Central/ 10 pm Eastern time (click HERE for show or archived podcast afterward).

I have been a fan of political cartoons for ages…clipping out and pasting some of my favorite to tape on my walls as a teen.  I even gave a lecture to my son’s 4th grade class on the history of political cartoons…featuring some of Antonio’s work!

Antonio has just published a book of his work, and I encourage you to head over to Legal Insurrection and order some as Christmas/Chanukah gifts for those who are avid current events followers. I know I ordered mine…autographed!

 

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The book is available at a $5 discount off the $24.95 list price at Patriot Depot (where they throw in a calendar of Branco’s cartoons as well), and at list price at Amazon.

At Patriot Depot only you can purchase an autographed copy for $29.95.

Silvio Canto will be leading the discussion, which will include a California update that covers last week’s slaughter in San Bernardino.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of the Antonio’s most recent gems at Legal Insurrection:

  1. This Time I Mean It

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2. I Have Seen the Enemy

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3. Rock the Cradle

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As an occupational safety and environmental health professional, I have been following the news of the shooting deaths of Virginia reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward by Vester Lee Flanagan closely.

LI #14

Is there anyway that this tragedy could have been prevented, and are there lessons to be learned for other employers who can then better protect their staffs from senseless violence? As Flanagan was a former employee of Parker and Ward’s station, it seems appropriate to consider the possibility.

By definition, workplace violence includes:

  • Threatening behaviour – such as shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects.
  • Verbal or written threats – any expression of an intent to inflict harm.
  • Harassment – any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms or verbally abuses a person and that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying, or other inappropriate activities.
  • Verbal abuse – swearing, insults or condescending language.
  • Physical attacks – hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking.

Reports now indicate Flangan’s employment history included many of these incidents. He was self-described “powder keg,” fired from his job at WDBJ in Virgina because of “anger management issues.”A 23-page note was sent to ABC news that indicates Flanagan was inspired by the Charleston shootings:

This morning, a fax was in the machine (time stamped 8:26 a.m.) almost two hours after the shooting. A little after 10 a.m., he called again, and introduced himself as Bryce, but also said his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan, and that he shot two people this morning. While on the phone, he said authorities are “after me,” and “all over the place.” He hung up. ABC News contacted the authorities immediately and provided them with the fax.

In the 23-page document faxed to ABC News, the writer says “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and his legal name is Vester Lee Flanagan II. He writes what triggered today’s carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting:

“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15…”

“What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”

However, given the fact that Flanagan had been fired and escorted out by police (not a typical occurence for any firing), the question has to be asked is there anything the news station could have done to anticipate his attack?

For example, could monitoring of Flanagan’s social media account by the station’s Human Resource staff provided any warning? Should Parker, Ward, and other station employees have been informed of Flanagan’s history, so they could have been on the lookout for him and know what to do if he showed up during filming? Could past employers have been able to warn the Virginia station of any problems with Flanagan if rules preventing such information dissemination had not been in place?

As with many of the other senseless slaughters covered on Legal Insurrection (e.g., Charleston, Santa Barbara, Aurora, Sandy Hook), the failure to address metal illness effectively was a key component. Gun control is not the issues as much as “mental illness control”.

And while journalists such as Parker and Ward can potentially experience violence while covering a story, a feature piece on local anniversary is typically a high risk event. The UK Daily Mail offers some background on the two victims:

According to her bio at WDBJ7.com, Parker was the station’s morning reporter. A local girl, Parker had spent much of her life outside Martinsville, about an hour from where she was tragically gunned down Wednesday.

Prior to her time at WDBJ, Parker worked near the Marine base Camp Lejeune for the Jacksonville, North Carolina bureau of WCTI.

She graduated from James Madison University just three years ago. While there, she interned at the local ABC/Fox affiliate and was news editor for her university’s nationally recognized newspaper, The Breeze.

According to her station biography, she says she liked to whitewater kayak, play with her parents’ dog Jack and attend community theater events.

‘She was so enthusiastic and she was doing what she loved,’ Deon Guillory, a reporter who had Parker as an intern in college, told CNN. ‘She was living her dream.’

Photographer Ward was a Virginia Tech graduate who attended high school in Salem, less than an hour from the scene of his murder.

The two Virginia natives often worked together on WDBJ stories and started off at the station as interns.

In April, they traveled together to Appomattox for the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. In February, the station posted photos of the duo to Facebook as they dressed up as bride and groom at a local bridal store.

‘Adam was a delightful person. He worked hard – you could tell he loved what he was doing,’ Robert Denton, who taught Ward at Virginia Tech University, said.

I hope some serious lessons are learned in the wake of this tragedy, instead of the usual cries for more gun control.

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Dear Readers: I am thrilled to be chatting with Silvio Canto, Jr. this week on CANTO TALK. I will be on this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 (7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST). CLICK HERE FOR LIVE SHOW OR ARCHIVED PODCAST.

MUT #02 Joanna Mell

One of the guests on the show will be an exquisitely beautiful artist I have connected with via Facebook, who plays like an angel. Joanna Mell is a Celtic Harpist, who renditions of traditional tunes have had a healing effect on my soul as I cover the chaos that has become the current news cycle.

As I am a big fan of “The Dresden Files” book series about wizards, fairies, vampires, and other fantasy creatures, I wanted to feature this Carolan tune “Si Beg, Si Mor” (The Fairies of the Small Hill and the Big Hill).

In fact, what caught my attention on her business website was the “Therapeutic Harp” entry.

The harp has been used for centuries to produce soothing music which brings peace, rest and healing to the mind, body and spirit. The first mention of the therapeutic use of the harp occurs in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 16:14-23, when a “skilled harper”, namely David, was brought to King Saul, who was in a restless and fearful state. After David played his harp for the king, Saul fell into a restful, healing sleep. There are many accounts of ancient Irish harpers being able to induce sleep, relaxation and healing of fevers and epileptic fits by playing certain types of music on the harp. Today, a small group of harpists are being trained to use the harp as a healing instrument in clinical settings such as hospice, hospitals, and nursing homes to induce relaxation and stress relief, normalization of heart and breathing rates, enhancement of oxygen absorption rates, normalization of blood pressure, and pain and anxiety abatement. In the case of the hospice client, therapeutic harp music has the ability to ease the transition through the dying process. Therapeutic harp music also has beneficial clinical applications in the chemotherapy process, easing nausea, anxiety and other undesirable side effects.

And, after following the disasters — both foreign and domestic — associated with our current crop of politicos and their policies, a dose of great music seems to be in order.

In fact, we will put it to the test — because Silvio and I will be chatting with military history expert par excellence, Barry Jacobsen, about the national security matter of the week. It’s too early to say what the latest problem will be…but the recent incident with Vice President Joe Biden might be a good bet.

For more information on hiring Joanna for an event, click HERE.

For samples of Joanna’s music, click HERE.

To buy Joanna’s albums, click HERE. (MUT NOte: Her Come Ye Back album is such a timeless classic, my son is trying to steal it from me!).

MUT #01 Joanna Mell

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Dear Readers:

I have always felt that the best step many of my fellow citizen activists could take would be to get elected to local offices. So when I heard one of my favorite, savvy, and sassy conservative activist friends was running for her city’s town clerk, I just had to find out more.

Therefor, it will be my privilege to join Silvio Canto Jr. to interview New York’s Karen Beseth, who is running for Dewitt Town Clerk.

I will be asking her for campaign tips and tricks she has learned, to pass down to others who might be inspired to join her on their own political careers. And, of course, we will be comparing “Blue State Blues.”

Her Facebook page is HERE, for those who want to send a direct message of support. If you do nothing else, please LIKE her page. This is the type of tactic she has had ton handle:

It has come to my attention today that a member of the DeWitt Town Board used the town’s email to send town employees an invitation to Angela Epolito’s fundraiser. Ms. Epolito sent out an apology on behalf of the Supervisor, but not until after town government e-mail accounts were used for political purposes. I was also concerned that the Supervisor used the Town’s taxpayer funded fall newsletter to publicize his position on the referendum to turn the Town Clerk into an appointed position.

I am not just a candidate for Town Clerk, I am also a resident and taxpayer in DeWitt. Town resources should not be used for political gain. It is unethical. The people of DeWitt deserve better from our elected officials.

Click HERE at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST or afterward for the archived podcast. If there are specific questions you want me to ask, put them in the comments section.

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